The Invisible House is a reflective building that mirrors its desert surroundings

July 3, 2020 by  
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The Invisible House is a mirror-clad home designed to look like a New York skyscraper flipped on its side. It is covered in heat-reflective “Solarcool” glass to mirror the surrounding remote desert of its site, located 10 minutes from downtown Joshua Tree, California. Designed by architect Tomas Osinski and Chris Hanley, the LA-based producer behind American Psycho , the Invisible House is situated on 90 acres. The 5,500-square-foot building, completed in 2019, is made of concrete , steel and tempered glass. Related: Hidden in the Vinhedo rainforests of Brazil, this glass house was built for a scholar The home has a wall designated for movie screen projections and a catering kitchen. There are four bedrooms and bathrooms separated by white partitions instead of doors to provide views of the desert . The theme of invisibility is reflected in the interior furnishings, such as a bed frame made of glass and and a partially-exposed glass shower. The building’s sustainability features include an efficient insulation system using a combination of closed cell “Cool Roof” foam and a hill-adjacent  location protecting it from the sun. There is a solar water heating system, a thermal mass of concrete and a 100-foot-long indoor swimming pool to help regulate the temperature. During construction, large portions of the building were cantilevered to minimize disturbance of the natural grounds. The steel-frame is elevated above the ground onto cylindrical concrete columns.  The designers conducted a biological survey to map out the native flora and fauna before beginning construction, and the Invisible House has a landscape-to-dwelling footprint of 2,000 to one. Low-emissivity glass in the walls and photovoltaic panels on the roof help further reduce the environmental impact of the home. According to the owner of the house, the local birds have been thriving on the insects around the property and have not been harmed by the reflective glass nor have they flown into the building. + Tomas Osinski Via Dezeen Images via Tomas Osinski

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The Invisible House is a reflective building that mirrors its desert surroundings

Red brick firehouse in Belgium runs on solar power

May 4, 2020 by  
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Rotterdam-based studio Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven has built a charming new firehouse for Wilrijk, Belgium. The firehouse is clad in bright red bricks that stand out thanks to white grout and vertical columns made of larger bricks. The building is also incredibly sustainable, generating its own clean energy through a massive rooftop solar array . Located on the city’s main road, the three-story Fire Station Wilrijk doubles as a local landmark. According to Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven, “The monochrome character provides a recognizable identity in the neighborhood, an architecture parlante in which form and appearance irrevocably remind us of the function of the building and the urgency of its users.” Related: LEED Platinum fire station is powered with solar energy in Seattle The building is clad in a robust red brick to help it stand out. In contrast, the interiors feature gray concrete walls framed in CLT panels for a minimalist feel that emphasizes comfort and ease of movement. Spacious rooms and hallways are connected by wide doorways to allow firefighters to respond quickly during emergency calls. The building is divided into two spaces: a double-height garage toward the front that accommodates three firetrucks and firehouse support areas toward the back. The back of the firehouse includes operation rooms, dressing areas, a lounge, sleeping quarters, a kitchen and dining space. The work-focused rooms are on the lower two levels, while beds, the lounge and dressing rooms are on the top floor to make it feel more like home. To power all of these spaces, the firehouse generates its own solar energy via photovoltaic panels on the roof. The project also includes a solar water heater and heat pump to further boost its sustainability. + Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven Via Dezeen Images via Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven

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How to make a solar water heater for less than $5

September 28, 2011 by  
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Bipin Bhaskaran Nair: solar heater a detailed description of heater One of the solutions we can consider for reducing the consumption of electricity is the use appliances running on alternative energy. One such utility is a solar water heater. The conventional nichrome immersion rod or copper core water heaters consume about 250 to 500 watts of power. To substitute them quickly and the smallest possible expense, let us see how a solar water heater can be put together for less than $5. It can be done by using only household materials and easily available materials. The water heater is a DIY appliance that can be built at home. By using such a solar thermal water heater, power used for heating water is conserved. In short, you will get hot water without using up electricity and during all seasons. Let’s see how to build a solar water heater at home: Difficulty level: Easy Time required : 2 hours. Resources required: A bucket of 50 litre capacity. Glass clay. It is available in almost all paint shops. Black paint and brush. Pipe for transporting water Estimated cost: Bucket. It easily available at home. If not, it can be purchased for a small price. Glass clay – 86 cents. Glass pane – Can be bought from a mirror shop for $3. Paint brush – $2 approx Black paint – $2 approx Pipe – As per the length needed. Instructions for making the solar thermal water heater: Take a bucket and rinse it with water. Make sure no dirt or soap remains inside it. Unwanted particles may create problems in heat absorption, thus reducing its efficiency. They may dirty the water too. cut bucket a bucket is cut in half Cut the bucket through an angle from the top, as shown in the figure. The mirror which you buy from outside should be of the same profile as that of the mouth of the bucket. Cut a small hole on one side though which you can insert the pipe. Cut another hole at the extreme bottom for taking out water. Paint the inside of the bucket with black colored paint. This is done because the color black is a good absorber and retainer of heat. Place the mirror on the bucket and apply glass clay all the way around it. Keep it in the sun till it dries and hardens up. Draw a pipe that it reaches the bathroom from the roof. The pipe should be the right length. Cover it with glass clay. Connect the pipe to one of the taps. The solar water heater on a budget is ready. Instructions for using the solar thermal water heater: Insert a pipe through the hole on the side and fill the bucket with water. Cover the hole with a piece of cloth. Check the path of travel of the sun from your place of residence. That is, check the path of the sun travels in from 7 am to 1 pm in the afternoon. It is during this time period, that the most amount of usable heat will be available for the solar thermal water heater. Keep the glass covered side towards the sun. Leave it undisturbed for 3 hours. Open the tap and hot water will be at your disposal. Frequently asked questions: Why did we put a pipe all the way from the roof to the bathroom? This is done to ensure that you do not have to do the strenuous task of carrying the bucket to the roof and back to the bathroom. When efforts are being done to make anything, why not make it more convenient as well? Why did we paint the bucket black? According to theories in thermodynamics, a black-body is a good absorber of heat. So the water will heat up without needing any electricity. In fact, it is the same amount of heat that we derive from nichrome coil of an electric heater. Why did we cover it with a glass plate? It is done for two purposes. Firstly, glass permits reflection and transmission of light, but not of heat. So the heat gets trapped. Secondly, it prevents dust, dirt and unwanted matter from entering the water.

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How to make a solar water heater for less than $5

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